This past weekend you probably noticed the moon looking extremely large! The Northern Hemisphere’s full Hunter’s Moon, which made its debut this past Saturday night (10/15), ushers in the first of this year’s three full-moon supermoons, that is, full moons near perigee, or the moon’s closest point to Earth for the month. But did you know that the November and December full moons will qualify as supermoons, too?!? That’s right! We will enjoy supermoons for the remainder of 2016!
The size difference of a year’s largest and smallest full moons is comparable to that of a U.S. quarter and a U.S. nickel.
As I wandered the streets in Lake Louise looking for the Hunter’s Moon, it seems that other neighborhood sky gazers noticed the large size. But nothing compared to my view earlier in the evening from the highway when the moon had just risen above the horizon and the drivers on the road were seeing the entire full moon for the first time. It looked like the Death Star was landing on the rolling hills in the distance. All full moons appear especially large when they’re close to the eastern horizon after sunset. This effect is known as the moon illusion. With these supermoons, you will want a clear view of the eastern horizon.
The November 14, 2016 full moon – closest and largest full moon of 2016 – will also be the largest full moon thus far in the 21st century (2001 to 2100). It’ll be the closest encounter between the Earth and moon until November 25, 2034 – which is after all current CES students are done with HS, and done with 4 years of college…and probably starting their careers! Not trying to flash the next 18 years in front of your eyes! Just pointing out that you might want to look up at the super duper supermoon this Fall!